Kentucky fans for years have felt oppressed by the media, by other teams, by ... well, by just about everyone. Every time a national media figure criticizes UK, the schadenfreude flows thick at our opponent's websites, and the disgruntlement among the Big Blue Nation can be felt throughout the Internet.
But are we truly oppressed? I have concluded that we absolutely aren't -- Duke is. That's right, our old buddies over in Durham are definitely the world champs of oppression in the on-line world.
Now, before you start shouting at your monitor, "Dook gets all the calls!", "Krzyzewski intimidates the officials!", "ESPN loves Duke and hates UK!" and similar expressions of angst, realize that I am not attempting to dispute or debunk any of these things, be they myth or fact. What I am saying is, when it comes to the on-line world, nobody gets more invective, more loathing, more out-and-out vilification than the Blue Devils.
Want proof? You got it. A Google search containing the phrase "hate duke" returned, last time I checked, 18,800 results, whereas "hate kentucky" returned a comparatively paltry 3,480 results!
Still not convinced? Well, let's take a look at just who is making these references. At the top of the list is the website "The Truth About Duke", which proudly details every faux pas, arrest, failure, and other bad news of, by, and relating to the Blue Devils. Obviously, Kentucky has no such analogous site (unless you count the Rivals U of L board) -- ihatekentucky.com is a spam message board site.
I'm not done yet. Let's look at derogatory mainstream media mentions: MSNBC, Washington Times, Doyel at Sportline, USA Today, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated -- the list goes on and on.
And smaller papers and blogs? Oh, hell yeah: The Michigan Daily, Withleather, SportsGoneSouth, St. Petersburg Times ... trust me, this list is almost endless.
At first glance, it has to amaze you. But in reality, the Indigo Diablos have absolutely earned their current status as the most despised college basketball team. From players baiting opposing fans, to fawning by some in the mainstream sports media, to obvious bias by officiating crews to annoying leadership ads for Amex, Duke and its Dear Leader well deserve the ire not only of their league opponents, but most of college basketball.
In fact, JL's recent piece on the email exchange between Elton Brand and an imperious Duke student almost got as many hits from blogs and websites linking us as Patrick Patterson's commitment day. The trend continues today as Fox Sports just linked that same post this afternoon.
So next time an MSMer disses UK, just remember -- it could be a LOT worse.
(Hat tip: Thanks to The Truth About Duke for many of the links above)